Yesterday we recorded the monthly B-eye-network radio program, and one of the questions Shawn asked was about our summer reading suggestions. The two books I mentioned are not business intelligence books, nor are they even business books, but rather history books about stuff that happened 800-900 years ago. The first book is about the life of Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan, while the second details Marco Polo's travels in the service of Asian emperor (and grandson of Genghis) Kublai Khan. These two Khans reflect two archetypical business leaders.
From (my spin on) a historical perspective, Genghis is the entrepreneur - he identifies with a clear business objective, develops a plan for executing against that objective, and replicates that execution over time and space to build a global enterprise enveloping multiple acquisitions. Genghis exploits the skills of his Mongol horde to instill fear in, overcome, and then embrace different cultures and regions as part of the Mongol Empire.
Kublai, on the other hand, tasks himself with crossing the chasm - developing a plan to effectively integrate those acquisitions into a cohesive operation. Brilliantly, instead of standing on ceremony in retaining his Mongol heritage, Kublai moves his headquarters to Cambulac (now known as Beijing) in the center of the Chinese acquisition and begins to align the Mongol operation to Chinese techniques. He transitions from a nomadic life style to one of techno-agriculture, enhances communication channels, standardizes paper money and monetary exchange, and engineers a hierarchical governing structure to manage the empire.
Different management styles for different types on environments, and different kinds of lessons. Enjoy!
Posted June 23, 2009 11:26 AM
Permalink | No Comments |